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How to Prevent your Home from Foreclosure in Florida

Foreclosure takes place when your lender takes over your property. Homeowners who fail to make their home mortgage payments may eventually have to experience foreclosure. When the property value falls to the point where the home becomes less worth than the mortgage you are paying, deciding to sell the house is often the best decision for homeowners. Such kind of a deal is called a short sale. It is also a pre-foreclosure sale as the property owner sells the property for less than the amount due on the mortgage.

Understanding Property Foreclosures: Types of Foreclosures & its Process

A foreclosure is a legal process through which a lender takes control of a property and evicts the homeowner, who is unable to pay the lender back. The property/ home is sold to recover the losses caused by the homeowner as per the stipulations in the mortgage contract. The process begins when a homeowner does not make a mortgage payment. Under normal circumstances, one can miss four mortgage payments before the foreclosure process begins, but this also depends on a number of other factors, such as the lender’s particular policies and the housing market. The defaulting homeowner is first notified by the lender. Depending on which state one is in, the homeowner may get a grace period of three to six months to resolve the payment issue. In case the homeowner is unable to start the payments, the lender can begin to foreclose on the house. In situations such as these, the homeowner has a few options to save their property from foreclosure, using a ‘Foreclosure Defense’. This can help to stall or stop this process altogether. Without a doubt, the best way to go about Foreclosure Defense is by seeking the help of a good foreclosure defense lawyer in Florida, or whichever state you are in. Before we begin to understand the foreclosure defense options, it’s very important to understand what the foreclosure process looks like, and that’s what we’ll discuss further in this article.

Nationwide Foreclosure Rates Are Down

CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft’s most recent press release has revealed that the share of home mortgages in foreclosure has officially dropped to the lowest level it has been in the past twenty years. Already well below the average pre-crisis level of 6%, the United States went from sitting at 4.9% in January of 2018, down to 4% in January of 2019. This drop has been reflected across all delinquency rates and is indicative of a dramatic increase in stability since The Housing Market Crash of 2007. 

What Is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the last thing you want when you are already having trouble in life.  There is a multitude of reasons you may find yourself in financial trouble bad enough to warrant bankruptcy, a short sale, or foreclosure.  The situation may seem hopeless, but there may be an option you are unaware of.  In some cases, you may be able to sign over the deed to your house to the lender and release yourself from the burden of the debt.

A Deed in Lieu

Rather than losing your house through short sale or foreclosure, you may be able to convince the bank to take your deed.  Some banks are not willing to let you short sell.  In this case, while you may not feel compelled to help the bank, you could free yourself of the debt by giving them the deed.  While this may be a good option for many, it is far from a sure thing.

Foreclosures on New York’s Billionaire’s Row

Of the over 2,000 billionaires in the world, 82 have a residence in New York City.  One57 (aka “The Billionaire’s Building”) is a tower near Central Park.  The identities of the residence of One57 are held secret, but two individuals were revealed because they stopped paying their mortgage.  Billionaires have bills too!

Foreclosure #1 – Mr. LLC

Mr. LLC is named as such because he shielded his identity behind an LLC when he bought a 3,466 square foot condo in One57.  Mr. LLC paid $21.4 million in 2015 for the property.  Apparently, things did not go according to plan.  Mr. LLC had rough couple of years and ended up with a lien on the property for $20.9 million plus fees and taxes.  The owner put the property on the market for $22.5 million, but it remains on the market over 500 days later.

Foreclosure #2 – Nigerian Oil Tycoon

Kolawole Aluko bought a 6,240 square feet apartment on the 56th floor of One57 in 2015.  He paid $50.9 million and $35.3 million of that was borrowed.  He also put up his 213-foot yacht, Galactic Star, as collateral.  The terms of the agreement stated that Mr. Aluko had to pay off the balance by the end of 2017.  The problem?  No one knows where the oil tycoon is.  Many believe he is living on his yacht.  Why?  In 2016, Mr. Aluko was suspected of stealing money from the Nigerian government.  In addition, he is thought to have made much of his money in international money laundering schemes.

Just for Fun

The most expensive residential apartment purchase in New York City history took place in One57.  In 2014, for $100.5 million, Michel Dell, Founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, bought a penthouse.  That penthouse is just under 11,000 square feet and has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.  Unlike the two afore mentioned billionaires, Mr. Dell is paying his mortgage.

Sometimes paying your mortgage is impossible.  Circumstances beyond your control can put you in a terrible position.  You might be fielding calls and letters from creditors and those communications can feel intrusive and threatening.  If you want the communication to stop, you need help.  Elias Dsouza of Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group has the skills and experience to get you out of creditor’s crosshairs and back on track.  Contact Elias for a free consultation.

Martin Scorsese’s Upper East Side Home May Face Foreclosure

Marting Scorsese has directed blockbusters such as “Goodfellas” and “The Departed”.  He has a reported net worth of around $100 million.  Unfortunately, he has found himself in a legal battle with a contractor who was working on his $12.5 million townhouse in New York’s Upper East Side.  He is claiming he paid the contractor.

The Case

A company called Extech Building Materials is suing Martin and his contractor, Smith Restoration Inc.  Extech is claiming that Scorsese and Smith owe over $18,000 for materials used to renovate Scorsese’s $12.5 million townhouse.  Scorsese says, while he has the money to pay, he will not because he gave the money to the contractor up front.  Extech placed a mechanic’s lien on the property in 2015 and is demanding that Scorsese sell the home to offset the cost of the materials.  Scorsese’s attorney released a statement stating, “Mr. Scorsese fulfilled all of his obligations under his contract with Smith, and paid Smith in full, but allegedly Smith failed to pay the material supplier.”

Past Money Problems

Scorsese has had money issues in the past.  In 2010, he fell behind on paying taxes and the IRS put a $2.85 million lien on one of his properties.  About a year later, he paid the IRS in full.  Many believe his money issues stem from his recent difficulty finding commercial success for his movies.  In 2011, he went $56 million over budget while creating “Hugo”.  In 2016, he spent $40 million of his own money to produce “Silence”.  The project only yielded $7 million.

Even with these recent flops and Scorsese’s refusal to pay $18,000 to Extech, it is highly unlikely that foreclosure will be ordered by a judge.

You do not have to be rich or famous to get into a dispute with a contractor or fall behind on taxes and mortgage payments.  If you are having trouble paying your taxes or mortgage, you need guidance.  Elias Dsouza has been helping people get back on track financially for over 15 years.  Contact Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group for a free consultation.

So, You Are Behind on Your Mortgage Payments and You Are Facing Foreclosure.

Since the market crash of 2008, millions of people have struggled to make ends meet.  Home owners are not immune to this harsh reality.  In April of 2012, the rate of foreclosure in Florida peaked at 12.96%.  Since 2012, the rate of foreclosure has fallen dramatically, but as of May of 2018, 1 in every 1057 residents of Broward county faced foreclosure which is the 10th highest rate in the nation.  If you are one of these people, keep reading to understand the process and what you can do about it.

How Does Foreclosure Work in Florida?

In the state of Florida, a lender must file foreclosure proceedings in state court.  Usually, this occurs within 90 days of missed payments and the borrower can expect to be served a summons to appear in court.  If the borrower does not appear in court, he or she can expect a judgement against them and their home is given to the lender to offset the debt.  The process has always been a cruelly rapid one, but the passing of Florida House Bill 87 (HB-87) allowed for this process to be further expedited.

What is Florida House Bill 87?

HB-87 was passed by the Florida Senate in 2013 and it had an immediate impact on foreclosure proceedings and the borrowers fighting them.  The truth is, this bill does have benefits for both sides although it may not always feel that way.  HB-87 allows for expedited foreclosure proceedings which, yes, makes an already horrible situation worse for borrowers.  However, this bill also requires borrowers to have all appropriate paper work to expedite any proceedings.  This includes a promissory note which is the agreement pertaining to mortgage payments and what happens if the borrower does not fulfill their end of the bargain.  This stipulation reduced the amount of fraudulent foreclosures.

What Can You Do to Defend Yourself?

Foreclosure defense is a hugely complicated topic that should be handled by an experienced foreclosure defense attorney in Broward County.  The passing of HB-87 leaves borrowers even less time to prepare to defend their rights to their most important asset.  Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group has been defending people facing foreclosure for over 15 years.  Do not hesitate to get the defense you deserve.